By Wendy Gragg

Killeen Daily Herald

From Sun City to Gatesville, U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, did some stumping across Central Texas on Monday as early voters flocked to polls.

Carter, who is defending his District 31 position from Cedar Park Democrat John Porter, began his day in Sun City, making stops in Temple, Belton, Killeen and Copperas Cove.At a lunch stop at the Cafe Del Ray in Harker Heights, Carter said visits with folks in his district are on his schedule through the election and beyond. He said the informal chats are important to find out what is on his constituents minds.

The only way I can do that is to get out, he said.

Carter discussed several issues with county officials at the Bell County Courthouse in Belton in the morning. National issues, like healthcare and social security, were hot topics with the small crowd. Carter said high gas prices were something else people were wanting to talk about.

Seniors at the Gilmore Senior Citizen Center in Killeen gave Carter a run for his money on several issues in the afternoon. Well-versed on the matters directly affecting them, members of the center took a break from their puzzles and card games to quiz Carter.

The conflict regarding retirement and disability pay for veterans was on the minds of several people.

Its an expensive item, so its got to be phased in, Carter told them.

One woman said she was tired of promises and wanted to see someone follow through on the benefits issue.

The U.S. government has made promises, treaties and they break them as soon as they sign the dotted line, she said.

Carter also fielded questions about privatization of Social Security.

Nobody is going to totally privatize Social Security, he said. Theres a lot of scare out there that somebodys going to take away your Social Security benefits. That is not true.

Gilmore Center member Delores Seitz said she was just glad Carter stopped by, because after the state redistricting, she wasnt sure who was representing her.

Hopefully that wont change again, but you never know this is Texas, Carter told her.

The U.S. Supreme Court told a lower court Monday to review a redrawing of Texas congressional districts that may cost Democrats up to six House seats. The order wont affect the Nov. 2 elections, but it give credence to challenges by Democrats that the redistricting plan gives unfairly preferential treatment to Republicans.

Carter will be at Fort Hood today with Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., the chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. They will meet with local school district superintendents to discuss federal Impact Aid, he said.

Carter said Impact Aid is such a big-ticket item, he doesnt blame school districts for getting worried about it every year, but he also offered assurance on the issue.

Everythings going to be fine with Impact Aid, its going to be fine, Carter said.

Contact Wendy Gragg at

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